Are You a Fair Weather Fan?

In the midst of rebuilding, Seattle Seahawks fans struggle to pick between Russell Wilson and their team


Zoe Bartlett, Staff Writer

Russell Wilson was met with a chorus of boos as the Denver Broncos and their new superstar made their way onto Seattle’s Lumen Field during week 1 of the 2022-23 football season.

Back in March of 2022, beloved quarterback and Seattle Seahawk legend Wilson switched to play for the Denver Broncos, meaning the Seattle Seahawks would have a new quarterback—their first in 10 years. Inevitably, Seattle’s fans will have differing views of the Seahawks’ future and the impact Wilson had on the franchise. 

Since 2019, second-string quarterback Geno Smith has been playing behind Wilson. However, for the 2022-2023 season, Smith has been named the starting quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks. Seahawks fans had doubts about Smith’s ability as a starter based on his performance during Wilson’s finger injury last season. However, this may not have been an accurate representation of Smith’s abilities as he was thrown into the offense in the middle of a season. In practice—both during the off-season and in the preseason with the Seahawks—Smith has proved his abilities to lead the team as a starter.

Even with new starters, fake fans and injuries, some fans have found optimism to drive their dedication.

“I’m absolutely still a Seahawks fan!” said Summit teacher Stephanie Barker, despite recognizing the potential failure a rebuilding season can bring. 

Barker reflects on the Seahawks she grew up watching during the Dave Krieg quarterback era from 1980-1991. She learned to continue believing in an inconsistent team that struggled offensively and thrived in the area of fumbles. Whether or not this was solely because of her dad’s devotion to the team, Barker has continued to be dedicated to an on-and-off, questionable team. 

Wilson has proved himself to be a consistent winner, winning 8 out of the 10 playoffs he played with Seattle. As he moves on to Denver, their 2-4 start could leave Bronco and Wilson fans hopeless.

“It’s heartbreak,” Barker said, referring to Wilson’s performance at Denver this 2022-23 season. 

Her hope is for Wilson to succeed, to an extent, as long as the Denver team does not do as well as the Seahawks. Additionally, campus security and girls’ varsity basketball coach Lynnette Landis will not be rooting for Wilson. She recognizes him for his contribution to a Super Bowl Ring, but does not see him as the superstar he is believed to be.

“Geno’s got better numbers,” said Landis, comparing Smith to Wilson. 

Some fans may have prematurely chosen Wilson and the Broncos over Smith and the Seahawks before having a true grasp on how this season would go with Smith.

When Russell Wilson left the Seahawks, some fans followed him to Denver, ignoring that they had been die-hard fans of Seattle for their entire life. It’s seen as a pure act of embarrassment; they don’t want to be known as a Seahawks fan despite Wilson proving to lack an impressive start with Denver.

“A fair-weather fan can find anything for an excuse,” Barker stated. This could be in specific players, a team as a whole, the coaches, the fan base or the franchise.   

In order to root for a team continuously through a tough season, fans may need to forget the way human nature craves victory. 

“Cautiously optimistic” is Landis’ way of looking at this season. She was not upset when she found out Wilson had gotten traded given the fact that he had been complaining about the offensive line. As he didn’t acknowledge the fact that so much of the team’s budget was invested in him that they couldn’t afford to upgrade the o-line while he was there. Now that Seattle has the budget they can finally rebuild and create the powerful offensive line and defense they need. 

“[The] Legion of Boom didn’t start, right out of the gate, amazing.” Landis said. It is important to note how teamwork, practice and time create powerhouses.